Why Running is the Best Exercise for You

Why Running is the Best Exercise for You

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Running is not only great for the soul but good for your well-being.

Running has health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life, and even helps you live longer.

1.Running makes you happier.

If you’ve been working out regularly, you’ve already discovered it: No matter how good or bad you feel at any given moment, exercise will make you feel better. And it goes beyond just the “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.

2.Running helps you get fit.

You know that exercises burns calories while you’re working out. The bonus is that when you exercise, the burn continues after you stop. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.) That’s kind of like getting a paycheck even after you retire.

3.Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too).

It’s long been known that running increases bone mass, and even helps stem age-related bone loss. But chances are, you’ve had family, friends, and strangers warn you that “running is bad for your knees.” Well, science has proven that it’s not. In fact, studies show that running improves knee health, according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio.

4.Running will keep you sharper, even as you age.

Worried about “losing it” as you get older? Working out regularly will help you stay “with it.” A December 2012 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review concluded that the evidence is insurmountable that regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.

Studies consistently found that fitter older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers. What’s more, in stroke patients, regular exercise improves memory, language, thinking, and judgment problems by almost 50 percent. The research team found “significant improvements” in overall brain function at the conclusion of the program, with the most improvement in attention, concentration, planning, and organizing.

5.Running can reduce your risk of cancer.

Maybe running doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it. A vast review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.

6.Running adds years to your life.

Even if you meet just the minimum of amount of physical activity—(30 minutes, five times per week), you’ll live longer.

Still not convinced? Here are few more reasons to hit the ground running:

1. You can run anywhere: Be it on the treadmill or in the park, it’s easy to run anywhere.
2. Visit the doctor less: Apples aren’t the only things that keep the doctor away. Active people are less likely to develop colon cancer. And ladies, women who regularly engage in intense workouts like running can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent.
3. Get a natural glow: Believe it or not, working up a sweat can rid your pores of the gunk that clogs them and leads to breakouts.
4. Improve self-esteem: Need another excuse to go green? Runners who ran outside and snagged a good view of nature showed increased self-esteem post-workout than those who had only unpleasant scenes to gaze at.
5. Turn down the pressure: Running is a natural way to keep high blood pressure aside. Increasing workouts slowly can help lower blood pressure in just a few weeks.
6. Get an energy boost: Feeling dull? Try going for a jog instead of lounging on the couch. Just one run can increase energy and decrease fatigue.
7. Strengthen that core: A strong core improves posture, strengthens limbs, and helps make everyday activities a breeze. And whether you feel it or not, running engages your midsection, strengthening those all-important muscles.
8. Sleep well: Runners tend to adapt to set sleeping routines in order to keep performance high. Even better: Running encourages higher quality sleep.
9. Show your heart some loving: People who run for just an hour a week can reduce their risk of heart disease by almost half compared to nonrunners.
10. Run stress away: Not only does running boost the brain’s serotonin levels, regular exercise might actually remodel the brain, making it calmer and more stress resistant.
11. Increase stamina: Running regularly will improve stamina, making workouts more enjoyable and productive.

Statistically speaking, if you’re interested in staying healthy, You Run!

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